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United Kingdom > South West > Projects, energy and natural resources > Project finance and PFI > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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  1. Project finance and PFI
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

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Ashfords LLP acts for a range of public and private sector clients on contentious and non-contentious project financing mandates in the waste, renewable energy, transport and IT infrastructure sectors. Department head Ruth Murray acted for a prominent private equity house in connection with the liquidation of the operator and project sponsor of nine anaerobic digestion SPVs funded by the client; this included restructuring the shareholding and operating mechanisms for each SPV, as well as establishing a new operating entity. A cross-departmental team including Elizabeth Gibson and associate Jonathan Croley assisted Swindon Borough Council with the procurement of domiciliary care services in the borough. Further, Clare Brewer is instructed by a central government department in relation to a headline infrastructure project of national significance. In the contentious space, Brian Farrell is advising a major service provider in a massive multi-party dispute concerning a particular PFI project. Additional clients include CoGen, VINCI Construction and North Yorkshire County Council.

Burges Salmon LLP is well known throughout the region and nationally for its strength in major energy and infrastructure projects, with the team involved in many of the largest and most sensitive projects across the UK. Brioney Thomas is advising Abellio on all aspects, including funding, of rail and depot works for the East Anglia and West Midlands rail franchises. Thomas is also instructed by Transport for Wales. Also in the transport space, Lloyd James is acting for Costain Group in connection with the development of the M4 relief road in South Wales. Headed by Ian Salter, the team has unique expertise in nuclear energy projects. Gary Soloman is assisting Isle of Anglesey County Council with all aspects of its role in the development of a new nuclear power station at Wylfa. Mark Paterson is advising the Ministry of Defence in relation to the highly publicised Trident project. Additional contacts include William Gard, Keith Beattie, and Nathan Curtis.

Michelmores LLP’s projects group ‘compares very favourably to considerably larger and more expensive competitors’. The team is rated for its ‘knowledge and approachability’, but what clients appreciate most is the lawyers’ ‘commercial acumen, and the deep practical experience they bring to negotiations’. ‘Pragmatic, professional and, at the same time, personable’, Ben Hogan has been increasingly involved in cross-border project financing mandates. Indeed, Hogan advised Finnish Fund for Industrial Cooperation on its participation in the financing of a LNG power station in Argentina. Further, Hogan is acting for a major German development finance investor in relation to its involvement in the financing of an onshore wind project in Serbia. Domestically, the team has particular expertise in the education and healthcare sectors. The highly regarded Carol McCormack provides ongoing procurement advice to Brighton & Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust in relation to its £420m 3Ts redevelopment programme. McCormack also assists ISS Mediclean with a wide range of operational education and healthcare PPP projects. Other key clients of the department include Innisfree Group, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Foundation Trust and Aberystwyth University.

Osborne Clarke provides ‘the full range of advice required for a major project financing arrangement, including taxation, property, construction and debt financing’. With particular expertise in the renewables and student accommodation projects, the team is regularly involved in refinancing mature PFI and PPP projects, and is increasingly instructed by infrastructure funds. For example, Andrew Normington and Simon Hancock acted for Dutch Infrastructure Fund in relation to its acquisition and debt refinancing of three local infrastructure projects in the UK. Further, Normington advised a borrower on the financing of multiple energy storage projects and gas-fired generation projects. The team also advised John Laing Investments on a £45m acquisition, development and refinancing of an onshore wind farm. Department head Chris Wade assisted Arlington Seaside with the acquisition and simultaneous debt financing of a portfolio of student accommodation projects. Catherine Wolfenden has expertise in UK and EU procurement law and Omar Al-Nuaimi was involved in a number of project portfolio refinancings in 2017.

Bevan Brittan LLP ’s projects group is ‘very knowledgeable of PFI and PPP structures’ and has ‘a unique and valuable perspective gained from experience advising public and private sector clients’. Headed by the ‘personable and energetic’ Nadeem Arshad , the team has particular expertise in PFI and PPP projects in the waste, energy and health sectors, and also has an active projects disputes practice. Of note, Arshad is acting for Viridor Waste Management in connection with a Scottish PPP project involving the development of a £154m recyclying and renewable energy centre in Glasgow. Acting alongside Nathan Bradberry, who is ‘especially well-researched on EPC issues’, the practice head is also advising Birmingham City Council on its new waste PPP project and associated contracting arrangements with Veolia Environment Services. Additionally, Sharon Renouf assisted Leeds Teaching NHS Trust with the refinancing of its PFI scheme. Louise Robling specialises in projects litigation and is representing Barts Health NHS Trust in a number of disputes concerning its PFI financial model.

The team at DAC Beachcroft LLP has ‘all the relevant experience, but most importantly, the lawyers have proved themselves able to accommodate the evolution of the project finance industry’. With experience of contentious and non-contentious matters, the group provides ‘the quality of service clients would expect from larger firms’ and has been involved in a number of PFI and PPP projects in the energy and transport sectors. Practice head Giles Taylor advises Liverpool City Council on its entire portfolio of operational PFI projects, which includes the client’s £60m central library redevelopment scheme. Further, Taylor is acting for the local authority and the project company in relation to the refinancing of a £65m housing PFI project. The practice head also advised a major government ministry on the high-value refinancing of a nationwide PFI scheme. Moreover, the team has also handled a number of school development projects for clients such as Mitie PFI and Somerset County Council.

VWV (Veale Wasbrough Vizards) ’s ‘impressive’ specialist procurement team was strengthened in 2017 by the arrival of Stephanie Rickard from Burges Salmon LLP. Since joining the firm, Rickard has been instructed by various contractors to handle procurement matters for a number of high-value services and construction projects. Rickard is advising Dorset County Council on the procurement in connection with a five-year strategic plan to develop new facilities for housing, health and social care. Further, the team assisted Bath Spa University with the main contractor procurement for the client’s £25m project to refurbish and repurpose a grade-II listed building for future use. Ben Holt specialises in procurement litigation and represents claimants and defendants in complex and often high-value procurement challenges. Additional clients include Hills Waste Solutions, National Composites Centre and Institute of Cancer Research.

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